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Florida’s Children First to Host Two Fall Events for Foster Children Advocates

Florida’s Children First, the state’s premier foster child advocacy organization, will host its annual fundraisers and awards events in Orlando and Sarasota this fall. The events will celebrate recent successes in the Florida Legislature, and the child advocates who help the state’s at-risk kids throughout the year.

Florida’s Children First 2014 Orlando Reception will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Law Offices of Broad & Cassel.

Florida’s Children First 2014 Sarasota Reception will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Sarasota Yacht Club (1100 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 32436).

Continue reading for honorees and event details…

In Orlando, community and business leaders and other persons concerned about the future of Florida’s children, especially abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth, will be in attendance to honor Child Advocate of the Year Gerry Glynn. Mr. Glynn Gerry Glynn has represented children and families for more than 20 years. He was the first Executive Director of Florida’s Children First and a trailblazer in the arena of children’s rights and lawyers for children. He served as an associate Professor and Director of Clinical Programs at Barry University School of Law, at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Clinical Instructor at the Florida State University School of Law Children’s Advocacy Center. Clinical programs Professor Glynn directed at Barry University included and Children and Families Clinic, Earth Advocacy clinic, Immigration clinic and thirty-six externship sites. Professor Glynn oversaw the Barry University Juvenile Justice Center which is a statewide training and resource center for juvenile public defenders in the state.

Under his leadership, Barry University Clinical Programs received funding from The Florida Bar Foundation, Eckerd Family Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation amongst others for its creative reform work.
Gerry was recently elected President of the National Association of Lawyers for Children, which is the largest bar association dedicated to serving children and families. Today he is the Chief Legal Officer for Community Based Care of Central Florida.

The event also will recognize Foster and Adoptive Parent of the Year – Randy Pawlowski. Randy is a foster and adoptive parent to older foster children, especially boys. They are among the hardest to place in foster homes. Most of these boys end up in group homes, which do not serve them well. As a College Dean at one of our State Colleges, Randy knew what he was getting into when he took on this tough assignment. He knows his foster youth will have some successes and many challenges. Despite the challenges, his commitment never wavers.

Randy is also an excellent resource for many other foster parents, guiding them and regularly participating in foster parent training. His leadership in at Seminole State has led it to be one of the best in the state in the College Coach model, that helps youth in foster care succeed in college.

It also will honor Youth Honoree – Andrew Trepte. As a member of the Seminole County Youth Advisory Board, Andrew took a strong stance on child advocacy issues. In his first days as a member he highlighted two very significant challenges: keeping siblings together and youth having a stronger voice in their medical / mental health treatment. Andrew quickly offered solutions to these issues and had the opportunity to partner with the Community Based Care Foster Parent Trainer to bring awareness of sibling connections to incoming foster parents.

Andrew graduated from High School and entered the automotive program at Seminole State College where he has received his personal best GPA of his educational career and is scheduled to graduate in 2015.

To RSVP, email fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org or call 954-796-0860. RSVP online at www.floridaschildrenfirst.org

Florida’s Children First will honor child advocates in Sarasota at its annual fundraising and awards event. Community and business leaders, and all other persons concerned about the future of Florida’s children, especially abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth, will be in attendance.

The event will honor Senator Bill Galvano, Champion of Children’s Rights. Senator Galvano has been a member of the Florida Senate since 2012, representing the District, which serves DeSoto, Glades, Hardee and parts of Charlotte, Highlands, Hillsborough and Manatee Counties.

Senator Galvano was the Senate Sponsor for the Attorneys for Dependent Children with Special Needs bill (HB561). This bill provides attorneys to protect dependent children with special needs who are in legal custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Senator Galvano strongly feels that “since children are the only parties in dependency cases that do not have their own counsel it is our obligation to provide them counsel to ensure that they are safe and obtain the critical services that they need.” Howard Talenfeld, President of Florida’s Children First supports “this historic legislation that provides disabled children a lawyer when they come into Florida’s child protection system because they need all the additional protections they can get.”

Senator Galvano will be honored by Florida’s Children First and Florida Youth Shine, FCF’s youth advocacy organization, for his continued fight for the rights of children in foster care.

To RSVP, email fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org or call 954-796-0860.

About Florida’s Children First
Florida’s Children First is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of at-risk children and youth, especially those in foster care. Uniquely positioned as Florida’s premiere independent advocacy organization, our mission is to seek full representation of children and youth and obtain meaningful and sustainable improvement in Florida’s child serving systems.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Friedman of Boardroom Communications
Office: 904-641-3226 Cell Phone: 561-706-4585 / Email: mfriedman@boardroompr.com
Or RSVP online at www.floridaschildrenfirst.org


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